Aftershocks from the now infamous 2011 Jerry Sandusky sex scandal are still being felt, as the Associated Press reported Sunday that 55 out of 69 BCS football schools have either reviewed or bolstered their policies regarding university-affiliated contact with minors.
ASU was among the universities that reviewed their policies and state laws, university spokeswoman Julie Newberg said in an email.
“Safety is the University’s highest priority,” Newberg said. “University officials conduct reviews on a regular basis and study incidents that have occurred at other schools in an effort to constantly improve our safety policies and procedures.”
Newberg said ASU implemented a criminal background check policy in 2005, prior to the Sandusky scandal, and that the University identifies “positions that have unsupervised contact with minors as safety-sensitive and (require) a fingerprint check and secured legislative authorization to obtain fingerprint checks through the Arizona Department of Public Safety.”
Sandusky was convicted of more than 40 counts of child sex abuse and is currently serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
President Michael Crow issued a memorandum to the University community concerning the responsibility to report instances of suspected child abuse in November 2011, shortly after the scandal came to light.
“I am writing to you today in the wake of the events that have taken place at Penn State University,” Crow said in the memorandum. “Events such as those provide opportunities for reflection and a reaffirmation of our commitment to provide a safe and secure learning and working environment. I wanted to remind you about ASU policies regarding the obligation to report misconduct by ASU employees and inappropriate conduct towards minors.”
The Sandusky scandal, which will forever leave a scar on the face of Penn State football, has also prompted at least 32 state governments to review their statutes, and at least 18 have adopted new laws requiring university employees and volunteers to report child sex abuse, according to the AP report.
The University advises anyone who observes inappropriate conduct being directed toward a minor or anyone who is told by a minor that he or she has been the victim of inappropriate conduct to notify the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456 or to do so anonymously at 1-877-SUN-DEVL.
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